Stock Photo Service stock.xchng Down for Days, Users Left in the Dark


There’s a slight mystery of sorts taking place in the stock photo community at this time. Stock photo service stock.xchng, reachable at, has been down for days now without reasonable explanation. The website is run by HAAP Media Ltd., a Getty Images subsidiary based in Hungary, and offers free-to-use images and illustrations to the masses.

Upon accessing the website, visitors are currently presented with the following message:

Stock.XCHNGE is currently closed for maintenance.
We apologize for any inconvenience and ask that you try back shortly.

SXCHU error

A number of users on Twitter are unsatisfied with the presented maintenance message, leading them to question whether or not the end for Stock.Xchng has finally come.




Could Getty have finally pulled the plug on Stock.xchng? It’s certainly possible, given the blackout of information we’re dealing with, which doesn’t quite make sense if it truly is maintenance.

PetaPixel has reached out to the Getty Images press office for clarification and a statement on the matter, but they were not immediately available to comment on the matter.

Stock.xchng was originally launched in February 2001 by Peter Hamza. It had over 2.5 million registered users as of 2009 (1 million of whom reside in the United States) and had an archive populated with over 400,000 images. Alexa Analytics data shows that was among the Web’s top 1000 sites as recently as last year.

We’ll update this post when there are new developments or if/when we receive more information.

Update on 8/12/13: The service appears to be back up and operational.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Colin!

  • Chris Hudson

    If it has shut down, I’ve got a short 5 character domain to lend to the cause of setting up a new free stock photography site. Add me on twitter.

  • APai

    there are a few options like rgbstock or morguefile

  • Belinda

    StockXchange is the ONLY free site that isn’t blocked by my workplace’s web filter!

  • barbara

    RGBStock is naturally smaller than sxc, but it has grown steadily since it began just a few years ago. You can’t find everything sxc had, but I think there is a lot of variety, and in time it will be one of the best, if not THE best of the free stock sites. They have more than 85,000 photos and graphics already. That’s a lot. They also have some really high res images. I like them. I also like their attitude. Nobody owns them.

  • weirdvisions

    RGBStock was created and is run by a handful of former SXC members and the same admin team that helped make SXC such a huge success for its founder, Peter Hamza. It feeds traffic to Hamza’s new pro-stock site, Stockfresh, in the same way SXC used to feed traffic to Hamza’s original pro-stock site, StockXpert. Many of the top contributors from SXC moved to RGBStock, or created mirror galleries there. Anyone familiar with pre-2010 SXC will recognise a large number of RGBStock’s major contributors.

    RGBStock was created from scratch and went live in January 2010. The programmers who designed the site are continually upgrading the system to make the site more efficient and appealing to users. Obsolete is not how I would describe the site.

    In answer to CMaxo’s criticism above, an advance search option is in the pipeline. SXC did not gain its own advanced search option until it was much larger than RGBStock currently is. However, RGBStock is growing rapidly and is continually evolving in the same way SXC did.

    As barbara says, no one owns RGBStock. It is a fledgeling SXC with the same ethos but without the corporate shackles.

  • Pete

    It’s SORT OF working again – everything is working but the layout isn’t – it’s like it’s missing the style sheets. But you can get to everything. Fingers crossed…

  • rotkiv

    For those who don’t know, click on “Contact Us” at the bottom of the page on the maintenance! message page. and browse the website through that.

  • Noel

    Hey everyone, Stock.xchng is back up! Wooooooo!

  • Belle

    I saw their twitter accnt. They changed their domain to